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It’s party time at Burleigh newbie Margarita Cartel

 Many curious Mexi-loving locals have been patiently waiting to find out what’s in store for Burleigh Heads since Margarita Cartel’s sign went up on the Lower Gold Coast Hwy a few weeks ago.

Well the wait is finally over with the new venue sliding open their doors this week to reveal an intimate, high vibe venue boasting an authentic menu filled with tasty variations of all your favourites and a cocktail list to rival any other.

Margarita Cartel has moved into the space where much-loved Willow Dining Room once lived and we have a feeling the newbie will be just as popular.

It’s every bit the Mexi-experience from the tall cactuses perched on either side of the entryway to bright seating, a stunning mosaic-style bar and a Sugar Skull mural painted across one wall. You need never pay top dollar to travel halfway across the world for a Mexican experience again.

Now as you know, there are very few people in the world who do not love margaritas so let’s begin there today.

The list as you’d expect, has quite the variety of margies on offer, from the Classic (made with orange liqueur though), to Coconut, Watermelon (five please), Cucumber and Chilli, Smoky Pineapple, Grapefruit and El Patron and we obviously suggest sampling one of each (maybe over the course of a week or so).

Margarita Cartel (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Margarita Cartel (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

There is also a section of the list called Mexican Twist and that includes goodies like the Mexican Espresso (made with tequila), the Negronito, Sangria Bubbles and a Peppery Southside to name a few Mexi-infused favourites. Plus of course, you may indulge in the classics and an array of mojitos too.

You’ll need to visit a few times, see.

Eats-wise the dishes are being whipped up by none other than a Mexican and a Columbian-born chef so everything is absolutely flavour-packed with lots of char-grilled goodness incorporated and there are a few things on there we’re willing to bet you haven’t tried.

To start, we recommend the Coliflor – crunchy cauliflower with salsa cartel, Maiz La Parilla – char-grilled corn with queso fresco and cilantro salsa and Papas Y Chorizo – chunky skinned potatoes with chorizo and queso fresco. To die for.

Of course the taco versus burrito debate rages strong and Margarita Cartel’s selection won’t help with that. There are plenty of mouthwatering variations of both plus quesadillas and La Parilla – char-grilled meats in varieties like Black Angus Porterhouse, Chicken, Chilli and Lime Salmon and Agave Sticky Pork Belly. YUM.

So that’s about 45 reasons to book yourself in this very second and save a seat at your table for us pretty please.

LOCATION: 2/1840 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 5pm to 10pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

La Diosa Mexicana

La Diosa Mexicana interior

Hola. We’ve got Mexi-news and it is this; a brand new Mexi-joint opened up in Surfers Paradise just a few short days ago and it’s bringing all the good time vibes you don’t want to miss.

Found in the bustling little space that is Circle on Cavill, La Diosa Mexicana is the perfect addition to the eatery-filled area and if you’re a fan of high quality, flavour-filled feasts, you’re in for a treat.

The fitout is colourful and inviting with rattan-style furniture, wrought iron tables and raw concrete accents. Everybody’s new favourite indoor greenery, (cacti and succulents) are dotted throughout and ocean coloured tiles complete the pretty picture.

Big bay windows open out into the street and we highly recommend choosing one of the corner tables because there are tan leather cushions that are as soft as can be and also, bulk people watching opportunities. Not your typical Mexican eatery guys.

La Diosa Mexicana bar

Food-wise, also not so much the Mexi-goodness you’ve become accustomed to.

La Diosa Mexicana co-owner Danny Azzi is a Gold Coast restaurateur and chef with over 20 years experience. He’s a lover of clean, fresh flavours and, coupled with his Lebanese heritage, has created quite a unique take on the food of Mexico.

The main player on the menu is the tacos, which we are pretty happy about. They’re made with an Al Pastor-style meat – a traditional way of cooking developed in central Mexico and based on the shawarma spit-grilled meat. It was introduced to Mexico by the Lebanese so there’s your link. What a combination.

La Diosa Mexicana Carne Asada

The entire menu is a dream come true if you ask us, filled with all your favourites including Tostadas, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Nachos and, of course, the beloved Burrito.

We recommend starting with a share plate or two, the Grilled Mexican street corn with coriander crema, paprika, queso and lime because they are the absolute goods and the Albondigas is meat balls with house beans and queso fresco. Flavour sensations.

Taco-wise go the fried cauliflower with eggplant jam, tahini, smoky paprika and pepitas or the Al Pastor pork with crispy onions, slaw, grilled pineapple and jalapenos. Try all of them though.

La Diosa Mexicana Nachos

The Nachos are some of the prettiest we’ve ever seen and you should also fit in a burrito or two. Good luck.

Now, let’s talk booze. The specialty bar menu features all of the margaritas (obviously) along with traditional cocktails, local and imported beers, ciders, wines, tequila (also obviously) and mezcals.

Margaritas, La Diosa Mexicana (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Because you’re obviously dying to know, there are 11 margaritas on the menu including flavours such as Chilli Chocolate and Cucumber Fresca (we tried that one, it was really great). Oh and the Orange Tamarind is one of the great margaritas too.

Maybe stop reading now and go try it out for yourselves. It’ll knock your little sombreros off.

La Diosa Mexicana Empanadas (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
La Diosa Mexicana Empanadas (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

LOCATION: Shop 11, Circle on Cavill, 3184 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
HOURS: 11.30am until 10.30pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

11 spots to sip at this International Margarita Day

Baskk (image supplied)

Hello, we love margaritas. They are, collectively, our favourite beverage and thus, we are experts on their sweet, salty goodness.

This is why, it gives us the greatest of pleasures to inform you that while Tuesday 22 February is Margarita DAY, we wish to celebrate Margarita MONTH and if you choose not to participate, we will particulate on your behalf, and ours.

In honour of the most important day (+month) of the year, we’ve collated a list of 11 spots to sip margaritas and yes, tried and tested (from north to south).

Hard Rock Cafe 
It’s always a fun time up the rock n’ roll memorabilia laden stairs in Surfers Paradise and an even better time once you’re seated with a frosty margarita in hand. The Hard Rock Cafe margies are extremely delicious and you may choose from the Triple Platinum or the Exotic and they are very generous with their servings. A bit of live music and it’s happy days.
Where: Cnr Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Montezumas / The Aztec
They of the family-friendly Mexican good times sure can shake up a tasty margarita and they’ll give you a big one too. It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet and (trust us) one definitely won’t be enough. YUM.
Where: Montezuma’s: Aloha Building, 8 Trickett Street, Surfers Paradise and The Aztec: Aria Building, 17 Albert Avenue, Broadbeach

Aloha Bar & Dining
Ready to get fruity? Same. Aloha Bar & Dining is the spot to do exactly that while sipping on a tasty, tasty margarita or three. Theirs is a special one, aptly named Aloe-Ha Margarita; it’s got Tromba tequila, aloe vera, honeydew, elderflower, lime maraschino, kaffir lime leaf and cucumber and it’s an absolute party in your mouth.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach 

Aloha Bar & Dining (image supplied)
Aloha Bar & Dining (image supplied)

Bonita Bonita
As you’d expect, from one of the most loved Mexi-venues around, Bonita Bonita’s margarita list is a goodie. You may choose from Tommy’s, Coconut, Bonita (with candied jalapeno’s – best), Raspberry and a Mexcal Margarita and why not have them all. The food is really quite great there too, order the banquet so you don’t miss out on any of the best things.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Mexicali
It’s margarita mania at Nobby’s fave Mexicali with seven varieties of margarita on offer PLUS three types of jugs. Best. Choose from Classic, Passionfruit, Chilli, Watermelon, Coconut, Skinny and the Scorched margarita if you’re on your own or there are Classic, Strawberry and Blueberry and Lychee jugs. There is nothing more we need from life, goodbye.
Where: Level 1/2223 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Margarita Cartel
Located on the Lower Gold Coast Hwy in Burleigh, this little joint is the perfect delight for Mexi-loving locals. The list of margaritas, as you’d expect, has quite the variety on offer, from the Classic (made with orange liqueur), to Coconut, Watermelon (five please), Cucumber and Chilli, Smoky Pineapple, Grapefruit and El Patron and we obviously suggest sampling one of each.
Where: 2/1840 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Frida Sol (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)
Frida Sol (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)

Hail Mary
The little Burleigh beauty down a side alleyway is filled to the brim with delightful margarita flavours that’ll keep you busy all day long. There’s Coconut, Mango, Peach & Passionfruit, Mexcal, Chilli Mexcal, Szechuan Pepper & Pineapple and Tommy’s Margarita’s and every single one is the goods. It’s a sweet little space too so grab the gang and get down there.
Where: 6/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores
While it’s true that all cocktails consumed on a seat overlooking the ocean are the best you can hope for, the tipples at Rick Shores are that little bit more special because: a) Burleigh Heads beach and b) well, margaritas. Rick Shores is absolutely stunning and we highly recommend gathering the girls and making an afternoon session of it.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads 

Frida Sol
Frida Sol brings a slew of margaritas to tantalise your tastebuds this sweet Margarita Month. We are quite (QUITE) partial to the Chilli and the Coconut Margaritas and throw in a pretty Palmy ocean view and you’ve got yourself a good ol’ time.
Where: Level 1, 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

The Collective
It’s always a sweet time at The Collective, on the highway in Palm Beach what with five food venues to choose from and a rooftop bar with bulk epic cocktails on offer. We vote for the speciality cocktail “TOMMY BATANGA”. 10/10 taste sensation.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach 

baskk
The stunning, naturally-inspired surrounds of baskk at Kirra Point are enough for us but, since it’s Margarita Month, we won’t go past a tasty tipple or two either. The margarita’s at baskk are next-level, as is everything on the menu. Line a few of those beauties up and order a couple of pizza’s and that’s pretty much the best time you can have.
Where: Shop 2, Beach House Plaza, 52-58 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Words by Kirra Smith

Margarita Cartel (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Margarita Cartel (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
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